Leon County Schools helping students with mental health issues

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — “What we’ve been going through with COVID we’ve seen all of the reports we have a lot of community violence just things that are happening in this community that I think you can never have enough conversations about mental health and awareness.”

Talethia Edwards is the Chair of the Leon County Schools Title I Advisory Council.

Right now, the council is trying to help kids navigate stress and transition from the pandemic. This, after LCS leaders say they’ve seen the struggles and aggression kids have, while coming back into large groups.

“Our immediate household and others have been affected by mental health and we have had a very difficult time trying to find resources especially consistent resources so this was very helpful.”

Wednesday, the council teamed up with Florida State University’s Clinical Psychology Program for a Parent Rap Session to help moms like Trinda Davis.

Some of the resources covered in the session ranged from individual and group therapy, parenting strategies, psychological assessments, and emotional and behavioral discussions.

Fatou Gaye is a Doctoral Student with the FSU Clinical Psychology Program, and says this is key to break down stigma.

“It’s really important in order for us to open that discussion up and provide a safe space.”

Something Trinda agrees with.

“There needs to be additional conversations but then action, steps that need to be taken, about mental health in itself and the community and have people understand that it’s not negative that it’s positive,” Davis said.

This session comes right alongside Leon County Schools pledging to use their portion of funding for the Commission on the Status of Men and Boys towards mental health. The Title I Advisory Council plans to host several more mental health sessions like this in the future.

The Title I Advisory Council is made up of school representatives, community members, and parents. The council will continue to make recommendations for teacher retention, student achievement, and mental health services going forward.